Refer a Young Person
Make your dreams come true


Are you supporting a young person who you believe would benefit from coming to Helm? Are you a family member or carer of a young person? Perhaps you’re a teacher, support worker or work at another youthwork organisation and know young people who you think would thrive within Helm’s safe and supportive environment? 

If so, this section is for you. Read our FAQ section below to find out more about how Helm’s education and employability services work, the services we provide and how to refer a young person into Helm.

Want to know more about Helm?

Helm is a stepping stone for young people across Tayside, helping them to reach the next step in their life, based on what is right for them. Which could be a job, an apprenticeship, a place at college, volunteering or something else that helps that young person move forward in life.

Helm supports over 200 young people a year. Young people who aren’t sure what they want to do after school, those who know what they want but aren’t sure how to achieve it, young people who face barriers in achieving the right path for themselves, including mental health concerns, poor self-confidence, bad experiences at school, limited opportunities, or anything else that stops a young person from moving forwards towards the world of work.

Find out more on our About Us page

Who can come to Helm?

All young people are welcome and the Helm team are very experienced in positively engaging with young people from all backgrounds, abilities, interests and support needs. The next step looks different for everyone and there is no set path that young people must take. Helm is a safe space to try new things and to find out what is available and what is possible. The Helm team will do everything they can to enable the young people they support to a path or destination that is right for them.

Previously Helm has supported young people who are carers, have anxiety, have had bad experiences at school, have care experiences or who struggle with mental health issues. We support any young person who needs Helm, with no judgements. We particularly recognise that the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have caused a new set of challenges for young people and we are particularly well placed to support their needs during this turbulent transition back to normality. Young people are at risk of becoming a lost generation due to the impact of Covid and we provide early-stage support to enable all young people to engage with the employability provision we provide.

What life skills can young people achieve at Helm?

At Helm we know that for young people to succeed and thrive in a positive destination they need to have a positive approach to everyday life. Helm provides opportunities and support for young people to enable them to gain life skills, while they work through the employability programme.

Young people have opportunities in Helm’s kitchen, gym, allotment, working in groups, attending events, going on trips and so many more. Through these, young people are supported to develop skills such as cooking, budgeting, social, DIY, creativity, knowledge of health and wellbeing and the tools to overcome setbacks and solve issues as they arise.

What’s Helm’s Employability Programme?

On this programme young people will work with the incredible Helm team to develop their self-confidence, their teamwork, communication, resilience and more. They will have lots of opportunities to gain invaluable life skills including cooking, budgeting, organisation and more. Young people will have chances to find out about lots of different jobs, some they might not have known about, through guest speakers, visits to local employers and more. They will be supported to learn how to create a CV, how to search and apply for jobs and how to do well in an interview, among other aspects. Throughout all of this, young people will be supported to gain SQA qualifications and will have access to Helm’s in-house gym, professional grade kitchen, allotment and in-house Art Therapist. Young people at Helm can also access our Learning Centres.

What are Helm’s Learning Centres?

Learning Centres are Centres within Helm that focus on specific industries, read on to find out more about each of the three Centres. They give young people hands on experience that puts them ahead of other young people applying for college courses, apprenticeships and jobs, because they have gained more in-depth knowledge and confidence in a particular industry.

Automotive Learning Centre
Young people will gain SQA qualifications but will also get experience carrying out a variety of car services including brakes, changing wheels, balancing wheels and tyres, full service, valeting, welding and working with customers.

Beauty Learning Centre
Young people will gain SQA qualifications but will also get experience working on a variety of beauty treatments manicures, pedicures, facials, eyebrow waxing and tinting, lashes and working with customers. The young people will also have at least one opportunity to put their skills into practice in a local care home, getting experience engaging with customers and intergenerational work.

Young people will gain SQA qualifications in painting and decorating, and joinery, and will also get experience working on a variety of practical skills including using power tools, basic construction techniques and more.

What is art therapy?

Helm is unique in Dundee by having an in-house art therapist, dedicated to supporting the young people who engage with Helm, with a huge variety of individual concerns. Art Therapy is not just for people who are creative or enjoy art, it is a safe space where young people are supported to work through issues, anxieties or personal barriers in a way that works for them. Helm’s Art Therapist creates a safe space where young people can work with a huge variety of materials and in the Helm Art Therapy room there is no such thing as too much mess, as long as it helps the young person.

Within Helm there are regular fun group sessions, without any therapeutic overtones, to help build the relationship between the art therapist and the young people. These groups also allow young people to try new things, express themselves and encourages creative thinking, decision making and problem solving.

There are also regular opportunities for young people to be supported 1-1 by Helm’s Art Therapist. These quieter, more dedicated sessions have a distinct focus on supporting that young person and their specific circumstances, but without the clinical and often negative connotations often associated with therapy.

What placements does Helm offer?

Helm believes that young people learn best when they get the opportunity and support to experience something for themselves. Placements are an integral part of Helm’s Employability programme. Helm’s Employment Liaison Officer works with individual young people to identify what type of career or industry they are interested in and works to secure them a placement. The young person gets the opportunity to experience what working in this industry would be like. The young people are supported throughout to ensure that it is a good fit and that they gain something positive from the experience.

Placements can be adapted to fit the needs of the young person and the employer involved.

What are positive destinations?

Our long-term vision is a Scotland where all young people dare to dream and can make those dreams a reality. One way that we enable young people to dare to dream about their futures is to help them leave Helm and move into positive destinations. But what does this mean?

Going to college can open up all kinds of opportunities for you in work later on and the choices at our local colleges are amazing. If this is right for you, Helm will help you find out more; visit the campus, talk to lecturers, discover what support and opportunities are available to you, try out taster courses. Helm can also help young people get qualifications for entry and support the whole application and interview process. Lots of Helm’s young people are now successfully making this move – let us help you get there!

Animal care, uniformed services, fitness, healthcare, hair and beauty, retail, hospitality, youthwork, legal and professional services, construction, horticulture, landscaping, automotive industry, childcare and so many more. The choice is as diverse as you are –– so if you want a job and what you want is not on the list yet, tell us. Our young people are getting into the jobs they want every day – together we can make this happen!

Earn while you learn! Tell us what you are passionate about, get great work experience with our employers, learn to turn up on time, be prepared to learn new things, and get help with anything that might be holding you back. Dundee employers are looking for you – and lots of Helm’s young people move on to apprenticeships every year – let us help you dare to dream!

What approach does Helm take?

Here at Helm, the young person is at the centre of all we do. We utilise a range of strategies alongside our training programmes to ensure our young people are given every opportunity to develop their full potential and achieve their dreams. 

The Key Worker Model

Young people will work with several members of staff during their time at Helm, giving them lots of different experiences. Every young person will be allocated a key worker who provides continuity of support, reviews progress and gives feedback through a weekly one-to-one meeting. This helps the individual to settle in quickly and provides a primary contact for both personal and training issues throughout the programme. 

The Holistic Approach 

Helm delivers a holistic, person-centred and trauma informed approach to learning and development which recognises that it is essential to provide young people with the skills to function in all areas of their life: to allow them to make choices, to encourage a sense of responsibility and involve them in making decisions that affect their own future. This approach is reinforced by projects that run alongside the training programmes, to offer young people access to additional one-to-one support and coaching during their time in Helm.  

How to find out more about coming to Helm

In Dundee we are part of the All in Dundee Consortium and referrals can be made through any of our partners.

In Angus referrals are made through the 16+ team.

The best way to find out more is to phone Helm directly 01382 224464.

Alternatively, email is also available

The Helm team will arrange an opportunity for the young person and whoever they want to support them (parent, worker, sibling, teacher, etc.) to come into Helm. A visit will consist of a tour of the building, a chance to meet some of the team and a chat to find out more about the young person and begin identifying what the right option for them is, you can also ask any questions you might have about Helm and the programmes. A young person can have as many visits, with someone to support them, as they need to feel comfortable about Helm.

Enquires can be made via phone, email or through Helm’s social media platforms




If you’re interested in finding out more about any aspects of Helm, take a look at the different pages on our website.

Alternatively, our friendly team are always here to help and can be reached on

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Helm has been supporting young people aged 15 to 25 years, in Dundee, to gain education and employment, for over 40 years. As a grassroots organisation we have maintained our connections with communities as we have grown to work across Tayside.

Contact Us


Sea Captain’s House
48 St Andrew’s Lane
Dundee DD1 2EY

+44 1382 224464

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